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Home / Health / Alzheimer’s blood test closer to reality, studies say

Alzheimer’s blood test closer to reality, studies say



In a study presented at a conference on Tuesday and published by JAMA, a blood test to detect a protein that is one of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease was as accurate as a spinal tap or positron emission tomography (PET) scan, the current gold standard of diagnosis for life.

More research is needed and such a test is unlikely to be done for many years, but the researchers said the results are promising.

“This test is an exciting step towards developing a blood test that could help detect Alzheimer’s disease, focusing on certain subgroups for you – one of the key proteins that becomes abnormal when Alzheimer’s disease changes in the brain,” Clive said. Ballard, a professor at the University of Exeter School of Medicine (UK) due to age, did not participate in the study.

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“A reliable blood test for Alzheimer’s would be a huge boost to dementia research, allowing researchers to try treatment at a much earlier stage, which in turn could lead to a breakthrough for people with dementia,” said doctor Rosa Sancho. studies in the UK Alzheimer’s study, which was also not included in the study.

Looking for a mutant protein

In a three-part study, researchers from the United States and Sweden measured an abnormal variant of a protein called p-tau217, and people in Alzheimer’s disease found more of this modified in you than healthy participants.

How does it get into your blood? It seems to cross the blood-brain barrier.

“Your protein is modified and accumulates abnormally in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease and some frontotemporal dementias. Some of this protein flows from your brain to your bloodstream, ”said Tara Spiers-Jones, deputy director of the Center. Discovery Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, which did not participate in the study.

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Researchers say a blood test can accurately differentiate Alzheimer’s disease from other types of dementia and Parkinson’s disease from 89% to 98%.

In addition, by measuring p-tau217 levels, it may also be possible to detect brain changes 20 years before the onset of dementia symptoms.

“This test, once tested and confirmed, opens up the possibility of early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease before the dementia stage. This is very important in clinical trials evaluating new treatments that can stop or slow down the disease process, ”said the researchers, led by Dr. Oskar Hansson from Lund University in Sweden, wrote.

Another study, published in the journal Experimental Medicine on Tuesday, also confirmed that p-tau217 is more involved in amyloid accumulation in the brain than other chemicals studied.

“These two documents provide more and more evidence that modified proteins in your blood can accurately reflect Alzheimer’s disease in the processes in the brain,” said Amanda Heslegrave, a senior researcher at the University of London’s Dementia Research Institute. participated in the study.

In your doctor’s office

The formation of brain proteins, amyloid, and tau in clumps of amyloid plaques and you occiput describes the physical features of Alzheimer’s disease, but they are difficult to detect without expensive PET scans or invasive spinal deformities, none of which are regularly contraindicated.

Physicians are left with oral and written tests for memory and cognitive impairment, and patients ’family members and caregivers are interviewed about their behavior. This approach makes it difficult to accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, which is different from other types of cognitive impairment.

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Also, brain scans and spinal nipples can only detect beta amyloid plaques, not you protein. The test is important to you, experts say – beta amyloid alone is not enough to diagnose Alzheimer’s because some people with high levels do not develop neurological disease.

The new blood test can detect both amyloid plaques and your pathways and is a very specific form of Alzheimer’s disease, experts said.

A summary from the Third Alzheimer’s Conference found that the test can distinguish between less common frontotemporal dementia, which affects younger people and leads to behavioral and personality changes rather than memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease, which illustrates the test’s diagnostic abilities. These include personality, behavioral changes, and language difficulties.

“These studies (and others) show that blood based on you is a marker of amyloid pathology. It’s very interesting and not what it would have been 5 years ago,” said John Hardy, president of molecular biology at the University of London College of Neurological Diseases.

These changes mean that in the next few years, there may come a day when your healthcare provider can do a blood test for Alzheimer’s while you’re in the doctor’s office, experts say.

“It’s very exciting because we all know that blood tests are really important and they are necessary as the first edition in the clinic, in your GP’s office,” said Maria Carrillo, chief physician of the Alzheimer’s Association.

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And unlike current detection methods, blood tests could be more easily extended to test many people at a much lower cost.

Experts have suggested that early detection and treatment of the brain before the brain suffers significant damage to Alzheimer’s would be a change in the game. The test could also help identify suitable people for clinical trials of drugs.

“We know that changes in Alzheimer’s disease in the brain can take decades before symptoms show, and the early stages of the disease are likely to be the time when future drugs are most effective,” Sancho said.

Carrillo and other experts warn that, although promised, the blood test still needs to be tested in asymptomatic people and a larger population.

“We now need longer and larger studies to confirm these results and see if this test could accelerate our ability to develop new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease in the future.” said Fiona Carragher, director of policy and research at the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK.

Ballard agrees: “While these studies seem particularly promising, further validation is still needed for people with a normal clinical setting, and a lot of work will be needed to standardize the test across all laboratories.

“So it could take at least another five years before we see an accurate blood biomarker test in the clinic for dementia.”


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